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Email Marketing Automation for Small Service Based Businesses: Maximize Your Customer Journey

Marketing automation can seem like a big and complex concept, but it is actually a simple way to help your business grow. As a small service based business owner, it can be tough to manage all aspects of your business while also trying to market to your customers effectively. But, with email marketing automation, you can streamline your processes and create a more efficient and effective marketing strategy. In this article, we will explore the stages of the content marketing sales process that email looks after, how email fits into the customer journey, and how lead generation and nurturing sequences can help you increase the lifetime value of each customer.

The Stages of the Content Marketing Sales Process

  1. Reach: Helping people find you. We use social media posts and video to push past our current sphere of contacts.
  2. Connected: People who have started to trust you and need to have more exposure to who you are, what you sell, and how you can add value to them.
  3. Nurtured: People who are starting to show a desire to be part of your community and connect on a deeper level with you.
  4. Yours: People ready to buy and showing buying signals.
  5. Community: People who have bought from you before and liked what you did enough to stick around.

Email marketing automation can start from stage two, but most likely starts at stage three, when someone trusts you enough to give up an email address for something they believe is beneficial that they trust you to deliver. 

(Want more detail about these stages? Read Rachel’s book Be a Spider, Build a Web: Sticky Content Marketing for Small Businesses)

The Three Main Uses of Email for service based businesses

  1. Lead Generation: Using lead generation to build desire to buy.
  2. Building Trust and Community: Using automation to build your community and trust.
  3. Increasing Lifetime Value: Using campaigns and automation to increase the lifetime value of each customer.

Why do service based businesses need lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your business by offering them something of value in exchange for their contact information. This could be a free trial, an eBook, a webinar, or a discount code. Once someone signs up for your resource, they would then receive a series of emails from you. The goal of this sequence is to move someone from “Nurtured” to “Yours.” This is a trust-building exercise, so it’s important to make sure the content is valuable and relevant.

The simplest way to ensure they stay close is with this series. For beginners, we recommend creating a six-part email sequence that includes a checklist. The checklist should either be a “hole finder” or a “solution-trusting builder.” The lead generation resource should include:

  1. Why you made this for them
  2. What they’ll find
  3. How to use it
  4. The content
  5. How to get in touch
  6. How many emails they’ll receive and over what period of time.

Want more information? Listen to the MAP IT Marketing podcast.

Using Automation to Build Trust and Community

Automation can help you build trust and make your business run smoother. Here are some of the automation sequences we recommend:

  1. The Welcome Sequence: A series of emails to help onboard new clients and talk through what they can expect from you. This can include how-to guides, product or service information, feedback, and post-work or sale support.
  2. Internal Process Improvement: Automated reminder emails for regular tasks, automations that move someone from one space to another in your CRM, reminders for personal follow-ups, and integrations with invoicing systems like Xero.
  3. Data Gathering: Using site tracking, email open tracking, link clicking tracking, purchase amounts, purchase types, social media engagement, and interactions with content to gather information about your customers and use that data to group and segment people to talk to them about what they specifically need and want.

Email in the Customer Journey

Email is an essential part of the customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase.

We’re huge on marketing automation here at Identify. Rachel can help you with a content marketing strategy that ensures all the messaging fits at the right moment, and Rod can help you with marketing automation implementation in either ActiveCampaign or Zoho. We can also advise alternatives you could try if these aren’t the best fit. 

Know you need help with strategy or implementation? Get in touch

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